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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Retained reflexes and processing delay
5

Runningfox1 · 04/12/2019 23:37

Does anyone have experience of this? DD is 15, has been assessed by school and found to have a processing delay. She struggles academically despite trying very hard. Would retained reflexes therapy help? Thank you.

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BlankTimes · 05/12/2019 12:50

School assessments aren't diagnostic, they're more of a guide.

Before trying any therapies or other interventions, I'd want to know the full extent of my dd's difficulties, so I'd request a comprehensive assessment.

Slow processing on its own isn't very likely and you've said She struggles academically despite trying very hard so it's better to know and provide the correct interventions for all difficulties, rather than guessing what may or may not help just one of the things school have noticed.

Ask school to provide you with a letter stating she has whatever their tests showed, take that and a list of your own concerns (any sensory or social difficulties, balance, bendy joints, distress when things don't go how she thought they should, clumsiness, over or under-sensitivities and any other things she does which are different to her peers) to your GP and ask what options are available for assessment for her.

NHS waitlist in most areas for full assessment is around 18 months to 2 years, so you may consider going privately.
If you do, please ask for a referral to a team that work at least part-time for the NHS as then school and Local Authority won't challenge any findings and should be willing to put strategies into place to help her.

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Runningfox1 · 05/12/2019 13:36

Thank you for both your messages Blank Times, they are really helpful comments and suggestions. By mistake I posted twice. Daughter is at a private school so not sure if this would still work with the NHS link you mention. I’ll investigate.

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BlankTimes · 05/12/2019 21:29

From my experience, NHS areas don't necessarily correspond to the areas schools are in. My DD is now mid-twenties.

From very young, I'd been asking GP for help as DD was "different" to her peers, missed milestones etc. but because there was no support from school I was fobbed off for years until I made a huge fuss and was referred to a NHS paediatric sensory OT. Nowadays, there aren't many of those around.

DD's state primary were useless, "saw nothing" and were oppositional to OT's involvement and did the bare minimum to help dd despite the OT visiting school and telling them what interventions they should put into place to help her. she was also badly bullied there which they did nothing about.

DD's 'Crested' prep was brilliant at accepting what DD's OT said and acting on it even though they were out of county, OT could not visit the school and saw DD in the holidays at home but it worked well. Most of the teachers there were very experienced in teaching kids with a lot of differences, the place was a revelation.

DD's private secondary were much more 'by the book' and asked for a complete private assessment from the local University who had a team to assess for a plethora of learning difficulties, disabilities etc. She was seen there for a full day and as parent I had to complete loads of questionnaires but the end result of that was a comprehensive report which listed all the tests used and her scores. It highlighted all of DD's strengths and weaknesses and gave lots of recommendations for school to follow to support her needs. Their reports and one from a private SLT secured her more time in exams.

In your shoes, I'd read up loads on Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, ADD, ADHD, ASD/ASC PDA and their presentation in girls and women, simply because all of those conditions share a lot of traits. At this stage I'd not worry about the name of the condition she may have, I'd be more concerned in finding someone to test her capabilities in many areas so that her strengths and weaknesses in a lot of areas, e.g.social, sensory, physical as well as academic can be assessed and a report showing those and suggesting interventions can be submitted to school and home.

Where to find a team that can do such an assessment?
Some accept private referrals directly, some only accept a GP's referral even if you are having a private assessment.

As a first point of call, you can ask her school's SENCO if they recommend a particular team to do such an assessment.

My experience was school said she was putting in 100% effort but not getting the results she should be so they suggested a comprehensive assessment carried out at the nearby Uni, but that was because the Uni had a specialised centre for assessments of that type for all age groups, most don't.

For info, this is a how-to for autism assessments including private. www.autism.org.uk/about/diagnosis/children.aspx
www.autism.org.uk/services/diagnosis/diagnostic.aspx
Diagnostic Services www.autism.org.uk/directory/browse/cid=6~aid=1~s=1/search-results/pg=1~sid=2399797.aspx

When you have sorted an assessment for her, before it happens, spend a little time putting together a history of her differences if you can, when you noticed what can be helpful for the professionals. Some of the questions they ask parents go back to early development and nursery/starting school ages, so if you have a think about those beforehand, you may be able to give better answers than I did as it came out of the blue!

In short, ask school what centres they use for assessments, find out if you need a GP referral or if you can just self-refer.
Have a look at other referral centres if you'd prefer to. If you have private health insurance, check your policy, they may fund any assessments.

Do NOT just go for any sort of screening tests because they are considerably cheaper, they are often administered by non-professionals, i.e. they cannot give a diagnosis and can only say there is a likelihood of the child having x condition, whereas a full assessment will be more expensive, very comprehensive and will give a firm diagnosis if warranted, otherwise will identify traits.

I know it's a complicated and frustrating process, but you'll soon pick it up. shout if anything's not clear.

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LIZS · 05/12/2019 21:34

Retained reflex therapy is a bit debunked. Ds got nhs ot while at private school but there was a waiting list. A few sessions with a home programme might be worth paying for. Does she now qualify for exam access arrangements. Which year is she in?

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Runningfox1 · 05/12/2019 21:56

Thank you both! So helpful. I’ll answer the questions here...

She’s in Year 11. Access arrangements are in place for all exams namely 25% extra time and she takes all exams in a private room. GCSEs are of course looming. She is managing to scrape by in five or so subjects but not in Maths.

I hadn’t appreciated that processing delay wouldn’t just stand alone. I’m not sure which other condition may apply but will read up as you suggest. I’ll explore assessments too. Your ideas are very helpful.

Historically she’s always struggled academically, she also had speech therapy when younger and now speaks well, she’s always been anxious, panics quickly and regularly struggles to get to sleep. She has friendships, a small close group.

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